Albany COVID-19 ambulance on the way

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Sarah MakseAlbany Advertiser
St John Great Southern manager Emma Doughty with paramedic Dean Fasolo.
Camera IconSt John Great Southern manager Emma Doughty with paramedic Dean Fasolo. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser, Laurie Benson

A St John WA Great Southern ambulance is set for a lifesaving makeover as part of a Statewide initiative to roll out specially refurbished vehicles to treat and transport COVID-19 patients.

Modified ambulances from St John WA’s existing fleet will be deployed across regional WA to help transport vulnerable community members and reduce the risk of transmission to staff.

The ambulances will be stripped of unnecessary equipment to allow for easier disinfection and to create more space.

They will also feature a barrier to separate the rear cabin from the driver.

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St John WA Great Southern manager Emma Doughty said the ambulance would be ready to hit the road in less than a month and would service the entire region.

“It will be one of our vans which will be very much stripped back and minimal inside because it will just be for a COVID-19 patient,” she said.

“It is about minimising the exposure to both the patient as well as our team.”

She said the van would be manned by one paramedic dressed in full personal protective equipment to transfer patients to hospital or the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

“We should be really proud that we have no active cases in the Great Southern,” she said.

“St John is looking at the worst-case scenario so if we did end up with multiple patients that are requiring transport, this is where the van would come into play.

“It is about making sure there is just one vehicle in use and minimising that cross-contamination risk.

“We are all working together towards the safety of our Great Southern community.”

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